Book Review · Cook Books

Jet Tila’s 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die

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It. Is. Time!

My dear readers I’m ecstatic to talk about a subject beloved by many…FOOD!

I’ve mentioned this previously, but due to severe allergies I started a cooking journey and I’ve finally moved from pinterest to real grown-up cookbooks.  

I was inspired to start here because Jet Tila, a judge on Cutthroat Kitchen, is also a culinary ambassador to Thailand. Asian dishes tend to be easier to adjust to make them ‘Tasheena-Safe’ (a term my husband likes to use), as any diary is usually coconut milk and there’s not much in the way of eggs.

Here are some of the dishes I made:

Orange – Flavored Chicken (PG. 28)  

OrangeChicken

This meal was both terrifying and exciting to make, as I’ve never deep fried anything before. I wasn’t prepared for the endeavor, and I’m glad my husband was within earshot when I yelled “HELP!”.

Other than the dangers of hot oil spitting back at you, I do think this meal was a success. Orange Chicken is amazing and the sauce on this one was killer. I would just make sure you have a someone nearby to help.

Thai Green Curry (PG. 92)  

ThaiGreenCurry

I love curry so much, especially when it has a spicy kick to it. I think I was mistaken going into this recipe though, as for some reason I thought green curry was spicy, but this meal was the complete opposite. Probably due to the six cups of coconut milk!

Sweet for dinner tends to throw me off, so I added a little bit of soy sauce to my dish and I thought it made the best balance between the two.

I know this is a small error, but I almost burnt my roux due to the heat, so keep that in mind. Other than that I felt everything else was straightforward.

Maybe not my favorite curry, but I can see myself making it again. The meal was also great reheated, which is a big bonus in this family.

2nd Try:  This time I let the chicken marinate overnight, and there was a vast improvement in flavor (still super sweet).

Vegan Drunken Noodles (PG. 86)  

DunkinNoodles

Yummy Yummy Yummy. I’ve made this dish twice and I love it so much. This is Jet Tila’s signature dish, the perfect hangover food that’s honestly perfect to eat whenever.

What I also like, and why noodle dishes are the best, is that you can adjust what you add into the dish. Just keep the sauce as is, because that’s where the love is located.

Other Favorites:

Thai Beef Salad (PG. 120)

Lemongrass Lamb Chops (PG. 53)

Worth the buy?

I really enjoyed this cookbook and the information I gained from it, setting a high standard for future cookbooks. Tila is a master at flavor and helping newbies like me understand what makes certain dishes iconic. I think if you are serious about asian cuisine than this should be on your shelf.

For me the only confusion was with temperatures, and my belief that some oils/dishes should of been lower at some point. With that in mind I won’t recommend this if you are completely brand new to cooking because I think having some background will help when making these small decisions.

Verdict: I’m pumped to try more recipes (there’s a tuna roll and poke bowl I have my eye on) and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but this might be a staple. Guess I should write a few more reviews before I put that ‘seal of approval’ on it.

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